A Match Made in Heaven?
Game crossovers. It’s becoming a bit of a trend for Blizzard games – heck, Heroes of the Storm is built upon it – but it’s not seen that much elsewhere. Payday 2: Hotline Miami looks to combine two games with loyal fan bases and strong identities in this piece of DLC.
What’s in the Box
Content wise, the Hotline Miami DLC doesn’t do anything to break the mould. There are three new guns – all submachine guns at that – five new melee weapons, four new masks, eight new customisations and seven new achievements. The headlining feature, as always, is the new heist. It’s a good one, and we’ll get into it in just a little bit.
Controversially, though, owners of Hotline Miami get a little extra – an additional melee weapon, four more masks and eight more customisations. I’m in two minds about this. While it’s cool that owners of both games get a bit extra – and it brings potential financial benefits for Devolver Studios as a reward for lending their IP to the Payday series – however, I’m not sure about the split.
The amount of extra stuff that Hotline Miami owners get might be enough to make people who only own Payday 2 feel like they have to go out and make an additional purchase to get most of the expansion. Thankfully, nothing included in the content behind the additional paywall is game-changing – although some of the exclusive masks are pretty cool.
I think the way that Overkill have handled it land just on the side of “good idea” – It’s just that I can understand people being a little annoyed by it.
Bring out the Guns
In terms of Payday 2 DLC, the Hotline Miami package is a little more stacked than most. The three new guns are the Cobra, Blaster 9mm and the iconic (actually iconic, Ubisot) Uzi. While all of these new weapons are usable, the Uzi really stands out.
Despite having a comparatively low rate of fire and a high cost (just over $900,000), it does a ton of damage and, with modification, recoil can be virtually eliminated – which makes it one of the best secondary weapons currently in the entire game. It’s almost good enough to be a primary weapon.
The Cobra is also a solid secondary weapon, which is capable of cleaving through waves of enemies with a couple of well-chosen modifications.
Get Up Close and Personal
Among the new weapons introduced are the fire axe and the cleaver. The latter, while having an intimidating look and bringing a visceral feel to the melee combat isn’t particularly revolutionary – which can be said of all of the new weapons, bar one. That fire axe does a ton of damage. If you’re carrying the ‘berserker’ skill, you can score impressive one-hit kills with what is now one of the most powerful melee weapons available in Payday 2. Continue Reading
Release Date: 30/09/2014
Available on: Linux, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Windows, PC Download
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The Main Event
The headline feature of these packages is always the new heist that comes with it. I’m pleased to say that the Hotline Miami heist is one of the best that Overkill have made. It’s a two-day mission, split into a day of tracking down the infamous and clever Commissar. This part has you killing plenty of mobsters, collecting loot and exploring environments. You also have the option of cooking up a batch of meth for an extra score.
Day two moves on to the final showdown. You know where The Commissar is, you just have to get to him. Here you’ll be entering combat against both SWAT and mobsters (who, for once, actually fight amongst themselves, too). This is a race against time and culminates in a tense shootout in a close environment with The Commissar and his gang, SWAT and your own crew.
There’s a level of depth to this heist that has been missing from Payday 2 DLC for a while. The end result is a mission that you’ll have fun playing through repeatedly rather than running through once or twice and then forgetting about. What it also brings back to the table is the over-the-top action and big set pieces that the original Payday built its name on – and it taps into the magic dust that makes Grand Theft Auto V so special.
There are a lot of intricacies involved. Without spoiling too much, you have to disarm C4, go on a small scavenger hunt as well as cooking and looking for extra packages of meth to boost your take.
Payday 2’s Baggage
It wouldn’t be a Payday 2 release without some baggage. After the debacle that resulted in Starbreeze buying the rights for Payday 2 back from a publisher that appeared to want to turn the franchise into an exploitative, micro-transaction laden shell, there’s still a bit of mistrust within the community.
When it launched, this DLC cost £7. That’s quite steep – especially when you consider the rate and number of DLC packages available for Payday 2 – and it didn’t go down well. It was compounded for some people when they say just how much content they wouldn’t get for not owning Hotline Miami. The price has now come down to a much more reasonable £2.79, which I believe was a good move.
The Hotline Miami DLC for Payday 2 is certainly one of the better efforts that Overkill have come up with. Whether it’s enough for veteran players who might otherwise be feeling a little jaded, I’m not sure. For someone like me who dips in and out of the game, I’ve enjoyed it massively – and it’s certainly made me stick around longer than previous DLC. You’ll not outsmart me, Commissar!
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PAYDAY 2 Hotline Miami Expansion is developed by OVERKILL.